Monday, July 11, 2011

Back in the Garage.

Everyone and no one is probably wondering what's been going on in the garage for the last 3 months. Well the truth of the matter is that all projects were on hold while we finished the MRolla and got it off and rolling around the race track at Reno. Then there was our race with the Killer Zombies in high plains Oregon, an awesome time, track and friends. We couldn't have asked for more. The next race will be Sears Infinion in October and the plan is to get the Fiat on the track.

So now on to the latest progress.
As those who who have been following the blog know the Fiat came into our stable in very poor condition. I have been able to rebuild the rear of the car by fusing half of a MR2 sub-frame to the shell of the Fiat. No simple task in itself but quite a good fit for what I am attempting.
The front end is a totally different beast though. With the extreme amount of rust eating away at the frame I had no choice but to amputate 90% of the front end.

Once the amputation was over there had to be decisions made about which direction we would be able to go with the suspension, original, MR2 or aftermarket? The next process was to rebuild the front chassis to handle the additional braking power and weight added to the front end. In this process as seen in the photographs there was really nothing to work with. I wanted to keep the front end as original as possible to keep the car looking as ugly as the day it left the assembly line so many years ago. This is no easy task, what most people don't realize is that I have no machinist background, no special tools other than my trusty wire feed Lincoln welder, a craftsman 12 speed drill press and a Makita 4" grinder. I of course see no problem with that, most of my racing comrades have been using those tools to keep cars on the race track for the last 3 years. So here is the process I used to build new front I beams for the Fiat, staying within exacting tolerances so that the steering and suspension would actually be true and continue to have years of trouble free driving.

The suspension has been upgraded to 11 gauge metal throughout so as to have more structural stability and lets not forget the ability to withstand a slightly bigger impact to the front end.

Yes that's where your feet will be in a crash.

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